In an industrialized world, air pollution is a major concern. The thought of breathing in polluted air normally sends people hiding indoors in the comfort and safety of their homes. What most people do not know is that indoor air is also polluted. Lately, health and environmental experts have been raising concern about indoor air quality (IAQ) in both homes and workplaces.
IAQ and Public Health
According to the EPA, indoor air quality is among the top 5 health risks. Studies have shown that indoor air quality can be up to five times worse than outdoor air. The following are the top 4 causes of indoor air pollution:
i) Air Fresheners
Most air fresheners are known to aggravate asthma among other types of respiratory illnesses. These products contain chemicals known to disrupt reproductive development in children as well as cause interference with their hormone function. These adverse effects can be attributed to a noxious chemical known as phthalates, which are used to make the vast majority of air fresheners.
ii) Furnaces and Open Flames
Charcoal grills, fireplaces, candles and heating oil-based heaters are known to contributed greatly to poor indoor air quality. Burning firewood or any type of fossil fuel produces carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and a variety of other harmful gases. Since carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly, carbon monoxide alarms should installed to monitor carbon monoxide levels indoors.
iii) Ink-Jet Printers
Ink-jet printers use printing inks containing glymes – industrial chemicals linked to infertility. The EPA has listed glymes as one of the key factors contributing to reproductive damage. Consider replacing your ink-jet printer with a laser printer to prevent damage to your reproductive system.
Public places with too many occupants, such as schools, are normally the most polluted. This is because they have up to four times the number of occupants who remain in the same space from morning to evening.
Indoor air quality can easily be improved through proper ventilation. An efficient air conditioning system can also help to remove dust, smoke, pollen and other airborne particles. Follow us for more great articles on heating, air conditioning and home needs.